Soft tissue sarcomas are a type of rare cancer that affect tissues that connect, support and surround organs (for example muscle, blood vessels, nerves and tendons). Angiosarcoma is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops from blood vessel cells, most commonly in the skin, breast, liver, spleen, and in the deep tissues of the body. In rare cases, angiosarcoma can occur in the heart. Soft tissue sarcomas occur in children and adults of all ages, but most often in middle aged and older adults. People aged 65 years and over have the lowest survival rates. Surgery accompanied by radiotherapy is often the standard treatment. Surgery may not be possible in advanced angiosarcoma and patients may require chemotherapy with limited treatment options.
Carotuximab is a novel, monoclonal antibody (a type of protein) being developed as an intravenous infusion to be added on to oral pazopanib, a current treatment for certain types of soft tissue sarcomas. Carotuximab acts by blocking a specific pathway to slow the growth of the tumour blood vessels, along with growth of the tumour itself. Pazopanib blocks a different pathway that also leads to slowing the growth of tumour blood vessels. Both carotuximab and pazopanib complement each other’s action and there is a potential for a more improved clinical treatment and response. If licenced, the combination of carotuximab with pazopanib will provide a treatment option for people with advanced angiosarcoma who cannot have surgery and currently have limited treatment options.
Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Cabozantinib works to stop signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. It is thought that when used in combination, both drugs may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib may improve long-term outcomes in mRCC patients who currently have limited treatment options.